Like 2010 in much of France, Alsace saw an excellent harvest that produced wines with great concentration and focus, balanced by beautiful acidity and freshness.
The previous winter was cold and long, extending into early March. Bud break was pushed back, and a hard freeze caused damage to some vines. April remained cool but temperatures rose in May allowing the vines to progress. Flowering was late nonetheless, and a swift temperature drop during this crucial period caused further crop loss from millerandage and coulure.
The erratic weather continued into June, which saw a major hot, dry spell during its last week. July was hot, with periods of storms and rain. August was back to wet and cold, and fighting off disease became critical due to the spread of oidium and mildew. At this point in the season the grapes were behind in the ripening cycle. This turned out to be a boon, however, as the grapes felt less impact from potentially damaging rainstorms.
Finally, at the end of August the weather improved, and remained consistent through October. Temperatures slowly tapered off and drying, cool north winds allowed a long hang-time for the grapes, helping to keep sugar and acid in balance.
The resulting wines are focused and intense, with good ripe fruit and brilliant acidity and should have the structure and depth to age well. A classic vintage with many superb wines, but unfortunately a small crop and one that may have some variation given the uneven and crazy weather during the season.
It was Hubert Meyer, who, in 1963, added the first three letters of his father's name (J-o-s, from Joseph) to the family surname, forming the brand we know today. The Meyers have been in the wine trade for much longer than that, however; Aloyse Meyer, the grandfather of Hubert, began as a négociant in 1854.
Current proprietor, Jean Meyer, is a well-known gourmand whose wines are among the most food-friendly of Alsace: vibrant, crisp and light on their feet. The Josmeyer Rieslings are minerally, focused, on the dry side and capable of aging, especially at the upper end of the price range. Meyer has been known to pair six or seven of his Gewürztraminer bottlings with multiple courses at a single meal to show the flexibility of his wines with food.
Much of the viticulture here is now being directed by Meyer's son-in-law Cristopher Ehrhart, who drove the recent shift towards organic and biodynamic viticulture. The vineyard, which covers 28 hectares, is planted to 28% Riesling, 24% Pinot Blanc & Auxerrois, 21% Pinot Gris, 19% Gewurztraminer and 8% Sylvaner, Muscat and Pinot Noir.
Ranges from dry to sweet, but deeply aromatic in all styles
Munster cheese, pork, goose, spicy Asian food
One of the wine world's love-it-or-hate-it grapes, Gewürztraminer is for many wine lovers the signature variety of Alsace. Its highly perfumed aromas of rose petal, smoked meat, lychee, grapefruit, and spices are immediate and captivating, although some examples lack refinement and seem a bit blowzy owing to low acidity and high alcohol. Gewürztraminer is as unlike the steelier, more aristocratic Riesling as a white grape can be. No other region of the world has been able to produce significant quantities of Gewürztraminer that even approach the decadent richness and exotic fruit qualities that the best producers in Alsace achieve. Still, other than late-harvest versions, Gewürztraminer is normally a dry wine in Alsace, despite smelling like a sweet one. Gewürztraminer marries beautifully with rich, fatty dishes like pork and goose or ripe cheeses, as well as with the exotic spices of Moroccan, Indian, and Far Eastern cuisines.